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Hardy Tetras?


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#1 minnnt

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 03:18 PM

As some of you may know I have set up a 90 litre planted tank which is housing a pair of Anomalachromis Thomasi, and was wondering what to add as a shoal of dithers. Decided on cardinals and ended up with 9. Over the last day this has become 5... they have just died. Water stats are fine, ph is around 7. Now I'm thinking I made the wrong choice. Other fish I was considering was red eyed tetras, harlequin rasboras or cherry barbs... which would be the hardiest out of them? If the red eye tetras would be more suitable then I think I would prefer them. The cichlids are not bothering the cardinals at all so its nothing to do with them...

#2 Duz

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 03:27 PM

I know cherry barbs are a very hardy fish. Had 5 when I started my tank around 4 years ago and still have 2 left. They were the first fish I put in when I did my fishin cycle. I have had 2 die from swim bladder and 1 die from an abnormal growth (never found out what it was) but they only died around 2 years after the tank was set up. I'm not to sure about the other fish but I know cherry barbs are a very tough fish. Hopefully someone else will post some info. on the other fish.

#3 minnnt

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 03:30 PM

I know cherry barbs are a very hardy fish. Had 5 when I started my tank around 4 years ago and still have 2 left. They were the first fish I put in when I did my fishin cycle. I have had 2 die from swim bladder and 1 die from an abnormal growth (never found out what it was) but they only died around 2 years after the tank was set up. I'm not to sure about the other fish but I know cherry barbs are a very tough fish. Hopefully someone else will post some info. on the other fish.


I've read that they're not actually a schooling fish and they like their own space. Did you find this?

Thanks for the reply.

#4 N0body Of The Goat

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 03:43 PM

Have you got access to any African tetra species locally...
  • African Red Eye
  • Yellow Tail Congo (from experience make sure there are at least two females per male, the blokes get very nasty with each other, one of my saddest losses before giving the last three to "mussels")
  • One-lined African Characin
  • Congo (may be a little too big for a 90l, niot sure)?

Another possibility that comes to mind is that perhaps a pair of Fundolopanchax gardneri (or similar African killifish) might work as dithers?



#5 Duz

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 04:21 PM

I've read that they're not actually a schooling fish and they like their own space. Did you find this?

No I didn't know that and didn't see it. They always had enough space if they didn't want to be near each other but they often grouped together forming small shoals. I believe I had 3 females and 2 males, although I only have the 2 males left now. They are very active and the males liked chasing the females and each other but thats normal behaviour. Never been aggressive to other fish and they got on well with my kribs. The males normally stay close to each other but like to chase each other from time to time.
If you didn't know they are very easy to sex. The males will be completely red while the females will be lighter and have more brown on them.

#6 minnnt

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 04:46 PM

Thanks. I think the Congo Tetra's would be too big. Never seen or heard of the African red eye tetra. Not really into killi's either, but maybe in the future. I'm leaning towards the red eyed tetras, they looked very attractive, but if they're just as sensitive as cardinals then I will have to look towards something else.

Edited by minnnt, 27 June 2011 - 04:46 PM.


#7 Caprichoso

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 06:49 PM

Thanks. I think the Congo Tetra's would be too big. Never seen or heard of the African red eye tetra. Not really into killi's either, but maybe in the future. I'm leaning towards the red eyed tetras, they looked very attractive, but if they're just as sensitive as cardinals then I will have to look towards something else.


The Glowlight tetras are pretty easy as far as tetras go.

#8 minnnt

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 07:16 PM

Yeah i looked at these also. They were my number one choice but them saw the red eyes and couldn't decide.

Are the glowlights hardy then? The only reason i can summon up for the Cardinals dying is because of stress from moving and acclimatisation to their new surroundings. Would this be correct or not?

#9 Caprichoso

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 07:26 PM

Yeah i looked at these also. They were my number one choice but them saw the red eyes and couldn't decide.

Are the glowlights hardy then? The only reason i can summon up for the Cardinals dying is because of stress from moving and acclimatisation to their new surroundings. Would this be correct or not?


Yes, they are hardy. As far as Cardinals go, they CAN be very easy fish to keep as long as they come from a good breeder or are wild caught and they haven't been damaged in the move. I have always had success with them but I also do 50% water changes every week and have many plants in the tank. Most fish should be undemanding as long as the water is clean and there is no ammonia and nitrite.

#10 minnnt

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 07:31 PM

The fish were from pets at home and looked absolutely stunning. Their colouration was brilliant and all seemed happy... :(

Will wait and see what happens with the rest before deciding on what to do... 5 isn't really the amount i wanted, but i don't want to buy more in case they die off too! Hmmm... awkward!

#11 Caprichoso

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 07:42 PM

The fish were from pets at home and looked absolutely stunning. Their colouration was brilliant and all seemed happy... :(

Will wait and see what happens with the rest before deciding on what to do... 5 isn't really the amount i wanted, but i don't want to buy more in case they die off too! Hmmm... awkward!


Good plan, hopefully the rest make it!

#12 minnnt

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 07:46 PM

But what do i do if they do make it? Rehome them and start with something else or try and add to the numbers? I would ideally like 10-15... :/

#13 Caprichoso

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 07:54 PM

But what do i do if they do make it? Rehome them and start with something else or try and add to the numbers? I would ideally like 10-15... :/


Yeah, add some more, don't give up on them :good:

#14 minnnt

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Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:04 PM

Ok, will leave them be for a week or two then see what happens. Really dissapointed by the deaths. I haven't lost a fish for months then 4 in 24 hours! :(

#15 SchottayB

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:01 PM

I was in the same boat as you last year when I brought my first group! I brought 18 and had 6 die in two days and they aint cheap!

The 12 I was left with have been fine for over a year now and they have been moved three times. It's just luck, these fish seem to be rather dodgy with kill/death ratio :lol: :P.

Get a couple more and pray :blush:

#16 minnnt

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 05:13 PM

Down to three now! :sad: Not going to buy anymore, i thought i was onto a winner with them, but they are shocking. I knew i should have bought 4 Harlequins to go with the 5 from you... :sly:

Edited by minnnt, 29 June 2011 - 05:13 PM.


#17 SchottayB

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:08 PM

Don't get me wrong the tetra look great! If you can keep them :angry:!

But the Harlequins have my vote, I've NEVER had a problem with them and I've kept loads :good:. I'd bin the tetra plan and get some Harlequins, I'll give you five to go with them ;) mine are fully grown.

#18 minnnt

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:28 PM

If you wanted the surviving cardinals you can have them... its up to you though.

#19 SchottayB

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 06:32 PM

I'll take them with some Vallis and Cichlid Fry :blush: :good:

I'm also working this weekend now as you were anyway so thought I'd work for the extra cash. Do you have any days off during the week?

#20 Caprichoso

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 07:24 PM

Down to three now! :sad: Not going to buy anymore, i thought i was onto a winner with them, but they are shocking. I knew i should have bought 4 Harlequins to go with the 5 from you... :sly:


I'm sorry this is happening to you, very frustrating! I do think you're giving up too soon on having Cardinals though. It is entirely up to you but imo they are not difficult to keep. The problem is finding good stock. If you can find good stock and your water params are good there is no reason why a person shouldn't be able to keep them successfully. If you want Cardinals, you may want to try a different store or order them online. Sorry for your losses.




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